Child care centers prepare for fall decision from school districts

Coronavirus

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Schools will look different in the fall and so will child care facilities. Child care centers take care of kids on school days off, before and after school, and summer.

Soon, they could have kids on a more regular basis. While childcare services slowed down during the pandemic, it became the solution for dozens of families who work essential jobs. Child care centers are planning for more kids as parents go back to work and need help teaching and watching their kids.

Many South Carolina school districts are considering adopting online distant learning in the fall. The South Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is giving school districts reopening recommendations using a low, medium, high spread system.

Horry County and Florence County are two of the 29 counties in South Carolina in the high virus spread category. Darlington, Dillon, and Marlboro fall under medium spread.

State health officials recommend high spread districts adopt a full distant learning schedule, meaning no students in the building. Districts with a “medium” spread would adopt a hybrid school schedule that would incorporate in-person learning on alternate days.

Child care and after school programs are making plans based on students returning to school following these recommended guidelines. Creative Beginnings has two locations serving Horry County students after school.

“Our Holmestown Road location which is our biggest location dropped to our lowest point at 163, now back up to 260,” Elissa Woodle, owner of Creative Beginnings Childcare said.

Computer labs and a new grouped-style learning would help kids and parents if schools turn to online in the fall. The child care center is working to accommodate the needs of their children who are out of school and help them with their school work.

“Regardless of what the school district does we are going to try to accommodate the needs of these kids because we know there is an end to this we just don’t know when the end is,” Woodle said.

DHEC recently released new guidance for child care.

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